Ferrari F355 Review from Switzerland

1996 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta 3.5 V8 gasoline

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 3.5 V8 gasoline Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 kilometres
Most recent distance28600 kilometres
Previous carMaserati Ghibli

Summary:

Fantastic engine, fantastic handling, fantastic looks. Expensive to service, but immense fun

Faults:

One exhaust valve spring broke at 26000 Km (fortunately, no damage to the valve or piston).

Exhaust manifold both cracked, awaiting replacement (very common problem on 355s).

Battery charge does not last more than 1 week if the car remains unused.

General Comments:

The F355 is one of the best handling cars in the world, it's immense fun dispatching Porsches, Nissan Skylines and other more common machines into the weeds, as they desperately try to keep up on winding mountain roads. However, it requires considerable skill to take the 355 to 100% of its limits, due to its mid-engined layout and sharp steering response.

Comfort has proved surprisingly good on long journeys, and fuel consumption is rather good (15 to 25 mpg depending on driving style). The trunk is large enough for two people's items for a short holiday.

The straight line performance, however, did not impress me so much: the engine has little torque below 5000 rpm, and to expect slingshot acceleration it's always necessary to keep it revving very high. Other cars like the new Maserati Spyder 4200 or the Porsche 996 Turbo deliver a massive punch from 2000 rpm onwards; the F355 always requires high engine speeds, which can make it a less relaxed drive if you are looking for instance, BMW M5-dispatching mid-range performance.

I was unlucky with a valve spring breaking soon after buying the car, hence the low reliability rating; however, it's performed faultlessly ever since.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2002

24th Feb 2006, 21:25

How could anyone compare a Skyline with a Ferrari. Who cares if the skyline has 550hp...you can't use it anywhere except a race track. The noise, the experience of driving a F355 is completely different and it looks a little better as well.

25th Feb 2006, 13:33

But it doesn't look as good as a Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis or the beautiful Lincoln Town Car.

7th Oct 2006, 18:50

A F355 is a real gem of a car. I have owned a Nissan, but prefer my F355 as it is a car that puts a smile on your face even when you're not driving it!! The Nissan was good, but the Ferrari is great.

21st Nov 2006, 09:56

What is so impressive about a Nissan Skyline? Never heard about or seen one in U.S. but found one on the internet. It looks like just an average car with less than 300 hp.

Am I missing something?

21st Nov 2006, 13:49

Yes you are missing a lot.

21st Nov 2006, 14:54

Skyline v Ferrari 355? Hmmm.

Well at least the Skyline should usually start!

But when the team of mechanics have finally got your 355 absolutely right, it is like being part of a work of art.

The Skyline will thrill you, but give you nausea, whereas the 355 will inspire you to feel that you have done something special.

Chalk and cheese.

Like comparing a Riva speedboat to a 1000hp powerboat, you will remember the feeling of emotion that Ferrari gave you for a long time.

Other mentalist-tuned Japanese cars will come and go.

31st Aug 2007, 04:53

I have a 1992 Acura NSX now. It won best of show at NSXPO 2003,out of 115 other NSX's.completely stock. Costs about 40k.Almost nothing to maintain. I am thinking about doubling my costs to buy a 355. How bad, really is the upkeep? Should I do it? Thanks.

22nd Oct 2007, 20:01

Hi

I have never owned a Ferrari F355 before, but I am seriosly thinking about getting one, can any one tell me what I should look out for and why are they so cheap second hand??

Also what are the running cost involved?

Average review marks: 6.6 / 10, based on 1 review